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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

I    BEGIN    TO    BE    AN    ARTIST
1906, when I first went to Pelham Street, I had heard
of him and went to his first Exhibition at the Carfax
Galleries. There were drawings and water-colours
and I was thrilled by them and visited the Exhibi-
tion many times. I saw a tall man with a reddish
beard, in a velvet coat and brown trousers, striding
along; he was a splendid-looking fellow and I
followed him down the King's Road keeping a
respectable distance behind. I did not discover
until I met him in 1914 that he came from Tenby
and had had the same German and dancing mistress
as I had had twelve years before.
Epstein lived in Cheyiie Walk and I would stand
outside hoping to get a glimpse of him. I saw him
through the window one day.
Life was dull and I knew nobody of any real
interest. I went to the local Public Library and
read everything. I had to find out something about
life at all costs, and in order to meet interesting
people decided that I must not be an ignorant bore.
I went and lived with my family. In the evenings,
when I was reading, my Father would come in and,
seeing reproductions of Whistler etchings on the
wall, would scream, " Whistler! Ha! Ha! If you
continue this rot I will have you put into a lunatic
asylum." What with this and my hopeless passion
I became paralyzed. I lost the use of my hands
completely. I was taken to a doctor friend of my
Father's, an unpleasant man who might have been
my Father's twin brother. What I really was suffer-
ing from was virginal hysteria and boredom, but this
monster invented a disease called Spinal Adhesion
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